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Rubio: ObamaCare Problems the “Tip of the Iceberg”
Rubio: “The bill I’m calling for is pretty much based on common sense and on reality, and that is this: it is unfair to tell people you’re going to punish them if they don’t buy health insurance when the website that they’re supposed to buy it on doesn’t work.”
Excerpt of Interview with Jenna Lee on FOX News’ “Happening Now”
Senator Marco Rubio
October 29, 2013
FOX News’ Jenna Lee: “Let’s start with this first report. The President has told us repeatedly that if we are an American who buys our own insurance, owns our own business and provides our own insurance for our families, that we’d be able to keep that insurance. Now we’re learning, according to reports, that the administration knew that for the majority of those Americans, that would not be true. This is while the President is saying this to the American public. What’s your reaction to that?”
Senator Marco Rubio: “Well, this is by design. They always knew that, and the reason why is they wanted to destroy the individual marketplace, and then to force a growing number of Americans onto either exchanges or some other ObamaCare mandated plan. That was always their design. They knew that from the beginning. So, when they went around and told people, ‘If you have insurance now you’re happy with and you’re not going to lose it’, they knew that wasn’t true. Of course, that was misleading, but it was also by design. In fact, we’re now starting to see the true design of this plan is to move more and more Americans to health care plans that either the government controls or that fit the profile of what the government wants to force upon people. And as a result, people have less choices now about the kind of health coverage they want to buy.”
Lee: “Democrats are saying – we’re hearing about this in the hearing today, the House Ways and Means Committee – they’re appealing to Republicans in many ways and saying that you need to get on board, that part of the reason why this rollout is not being effective is because Republicans are not joining in. What do you say to Democrats who say that you’re part of the problem?”
Rubio: “Well, first of all, if you start to look at some of the problems that are happening already – and there are many more to come – this is just the tip of the iceberg. As we’re – as ObamaCare transitions from being a theory to reality in people’s real lives, you’re going to hear more and more stories like this. So whether it’s people that have a coverage that they’re happy with and are now told, ‘You can’t have that coverage anymore, you have to buy something else that costs a lot more money.’ That – we can’t get on board on that. That’s part of the law, by the way, that’s not anything Republicans did. The same with the website. The website — the reason why the website is failing has nothing to do with Republicans. It has to do with the fact that the government was not competent enough to set it up in time and that’s why the bill that I’m calling for is pretty much based on common sense and on reality, and that is this: it is unfair to tell people you are going to punish them if they don’t buy health insurance when the website that they’re supposed to buy it on doesn’t work. And so all I’m saying is – and I want to repeal ObamaCare – but at a minimum what I’m saying is, ‘Let’s not punish anybody for not buying health insurance until the website is working.’”
Lee: “So, there’s a couple of different directions to go here. One is the fact that the American public has been told one thing and we’re learning slowly that maybe what we were told is not true. How do you hold the people accountable for that, the ones that made those promises to us?”
Rubio: “Well, that’s what’s happening right now. I think every day when more and more of these reports come out, it becomes apparent to people that ObamaCare that was passed and ObamaCare that they’re going to live under are two different things. You know, one thing is to tell people, ‘We’re going to pass this bill that’s going to help you get health insurance cheaper, if you don’t have health insurance it’s going to help you be able to get one that’s affordable, if you can’t afford to pay for anything it’s going to give you health insurance that’s free’ – one thing is to say that to people – ‘And by the way if you’re happy with your health insurance you can keep it’. That’s how ObamaCare was sold and campaigned on. Another thing is what ObamaCare actually is and what people are actually now experiencing.”
Lee: “Let me ask you a little bit about that. I understand the new legislation you’re introducing has to do with the website in part to say, ‘You know, let’s push out the individual mandate until we’re sure this website is functional.’ But we’re also seeing some other side effects as well. We are seeing a huge expansion in Medicaid which is in part something we were told was going to happen. But a lot of questions about price control as well. So you say you want to repeal ObamaCare. We’ve heard that of course before from many Republicans. But what do we do with some of these other issues as they start to roll out? What’s the plan?”
Rubio: “I think we need to continue to address those as well, as we move forward. And number one, on the Medicaid expansion side, that’s a difficult one to try and fix. It’s one of the reasons why ObamaCare ultimately will have to be replaced and repealed. Because you can’t fix that. That also is by design. The design was to push a growing number of people onto Medicaid programs across the country, moving more and more people into like a single payer type environment. As far as holding down reimbursement rates, that was also part of the design. Again, because what they’re hoping to do at some point is force more and more people into the types of plans that they want and increasingly into government plans as well. This was a designed – all of these things that are happening were not accidents. They’re happening as part of the overall design of ObamaCare that the Administration and proponents of the law have been less than forthcoming about.”